Travelling to Canada part 1

Last March, we finally got our visa to Canada. The first step we did (after jumping up and down for a couple of seconds) was to decide on a date and book tickets. We are not really big on travelling by plane so we don’t have travel agents. Good thing my cousin knew one and we contacted Ms. Mau of Global Link Travel and Tours ASAP. We asked for the best deal possible. She was very helpful, letting us know our options and answering our questions patiently.  We found out that it was cheaper to fly on a Thursday instead of Friday. So we booked that date. We intended to stay with another cousin in Delta, BC so I made sure to tell our agent about this. Otherwise, if we book our flight to Edmonton while we're already in BC, that would've been considered a domestic flight and we would've been limited to check in baggage each. We would've been charged with excess baggage for the other one. 

We were able to book tickets for the 3rd week of June. It cost us around 90,000++ for 3 persons.  Next concern, baggage. We were allowed 2 baggages weighing 23kg each per passenger. So that’s 6 luggage /boxes for our little party. We were also allowed 1 hand carry bag of not more than 7kg each. We had such a hard time trying to fit our whole lives in bags. We sold almost everything of value. We held a garage sale and posted our stuff online.

From our garage sale income, we bought a special bag for our photography gear. We got a Think-tank Photo Airport International for our Canon DSLRs. Thanks to Mr. Leo Castillo for the recommendation. We got it from the EchoPhoto in Manila and got a very good deal. The bag able to contain 3 camera bodies, several lenses and all our chargers and batteries. It went way past the 7kg hand carry limit but Cathay Pacific was very understanding. We couldn’t risk checking our camera bag in. We know how checked in bags are thrown around while being transported. 

We had our photo booth and other accessories shipped thru the International Express Mail Serviceof Phlpost. We just went to the Marikina Post Office beside the City Hall and sent the boxes through them. We received them here in Canada within 2 weeks, in good condition.

A few days before we left, we converted our pesos to Canadian dollar. We still had some money in HSBC Commonwealth Ave QC. Ms. Loudette was kind enough to assist us. You have to call ahead to make sure they have enough Canadian Dollars for your transaction, otherwise they’d have to ask you to come back in a few days.

I’m very grateful to our family and friends. They gave us despedidas/send offs we’d never forget. We met with family, good friends and old co-workers who became good friends.

The day before we left, we had lunch with my family and then visited the memorial park to say goodbye to my mom and to Berto’s dad.

Months before our departure date, we were too busy with so many things. We were so preoccupied. So many things to buy, to sell, to settle.  I had a countdown posted in our bedroom just to make it more real. Then all too suddenly, it was time to leave. Leave the place I’ve known all my life, the place where all my family and friends were. Suddenly it all became too real. We were leaving behind our old lives to start a new one in a new country.

To be continued… 

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